Saturday, November 23, 2013

Suits Head Home, York Street

36 x 36 oil on canvas
I want to start doing some paintings on a larger scale.They are more difficult, time wise and of course take more paint. They aren't as fun as smaller ones...yet. They do have more impact and drama on a large wall.
This scene features "suits" and woman in the financial district heading home on a cold Toronto evening. It is getting dark here in southern Ontario at five o'clock so it is dark when we go to work, and dark heading home.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Toronto Skyline Reflected

24 x 24 oil on canvas
Often if a painting won't photograph well, its because there is something wrong with the painting. With this one, I knew I had the colour temperature and values wrong. Richard Schmid says in his book Alla Prima that if a colour looks like "mud', its not the colour that is muddy, it is the wrong temperature against the other colours on the painting. I struggled with this picture, first  tightening up too much (all those twinkly lights don't show the same intensity from far away). And I had the values and temperature wrong. (Not much right going on) I finally changed my photo reference to black and white and painted from that. I find it helps to do this in order to get a fresh look at values.
I also find that if I take a painting too seriously, and want it to look a certain way rather than letting it find its way as I paint, I will find ways to be unsuccessful.
I'm still not sure about this one...I go between sort of liking it and wanting to repaint it.
Thanks to John Tavares for the photo reference.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Silhouette, Night Rain on King

30 x 30 Oil on Canvas
This young woman is silhouetted against the traffic and streetlights on a rainy night on King Street West.

Thanks to Ben Roffelsen for this photo reference.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Urban Angel

18x18 oil on canvas
I take lots of photos and sometimes I am surprised by what I find when I upload them to my computer.This was a very cold day with the sun going down in late afternoon. The sign from St. Michaels hospital was dominant in the distance. I wasn't sure how I would paint the sign and have it be part of the scene as a whole. Winter light is so different from summer light. It seems to have a very "thin" subtle quality without a lot of warm colour. I will leave it for a few days and decide if it is done.
This scene is from Queen Street. St. Michaels is affectionately known as Toronto's urban angel.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cold Toronto Night

8x8 oil on canvas
Often I like to do a smaller study before taking on a large canvas. There were a lot of things I liked about this picture..the steam, the reflections and the colour combination. A small study helps in the process, but painting large is the only way to find out how it will look on a large scale.
Thanks to John Tavares for the photo reference.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Late Night Rain on Yonge

24 x 24 oil on board
Night time in the city is a melalange of colours and shapes, with very little definition, especially when it rains. Yonge Street is full of bill boards, store signs, and lights everywhere. Without many defining shapes, the picture becomes more abstract and of course creates a whole new set of problems to solve...although it always comes down to composition, edges, and value no matter what subject is painted.